Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

November-December 2017

OSU-OKC Named Top College to Compete For National Educational Prize

A graduation rate that has more than doubled and one of the state’s highest mid-career salaries for graduates have landed Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City among America’s top 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the prestigious $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

The Aspen Prize is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance for community colleges.

“We are proud to be recognized as a contender for the Aspen Prize. It is the realization of a five-year goal,” said OSU-OKC President Natalie Shirley. “Beyond the recognition, it demonstrates OSU-OKC’s commitment to student success and support. We have been intentional about creating initiatives that have more than doubled our graduation rate over the past five years and increased student retention by 10 percentage points, which mean brighter futures and more earning power for our students. At the end of the day, that’s why we are here.”

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program released the names of the eligible colleges in October, selecting the final 150 from a pool of nearly 1,000 two-year colleges nationwide. Only one other Oklahoma school, Carl Albert State College, made the list.

OSU-OKC, part of the modern land-grant system of Oklahoma State University, is a two-year public college offering more than 50 degrees and certificate options. Several top-ranking academic programs boast employment rates of 100 percent after graduation, including nursing, diagnostic imaging, police science, and emergency medical services.

The top 10 finalists for the 2019 Aspen Prize will be named in May 2018. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data, including employment and earnings data. A distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner, finalist(s) with distinction, and rising star(s) in spring 2019.

The official press release from the Aspen Institute is available here, www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-aspen-institute-names-top-150-us-community-colleges-eligible-for-2019-aspen-prize-300533818.html.

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